A night of stars

The feature night of racing, QStars, features all QBRED types, foals either born in the state or sired by Queensland-based stallions, so the entire 10-race card is dedicated to the Queensland breeding scene.

On the night, there was four Group 1 $150,000 Finals (for 2YO and 3YO pacers) while there’s also a pair of Listed $75,000 4YO Finals while 2023 also saw the introduction of two Group 2 $50,000 trotting features (2YO and 3YO) plus other support races.

The introduction of the trotting features was met with great anticipation while it’s another clear commitment from Racing Queensland about improving and developing the gait.

During the Constellations, RQ committed several new features to the carnival including the Group 1 $150,000 The Great Square, based loosely on the same design as the highly successful pacing feature, the Rising Sun.

And across the program, Queensland sires stood tall with great representation.

Leading the way was the ill-fated Hurrikane Kingcole (formerly based at Egmont Park) with nine starters while right behind was his former stud mate, Mr Feelgood, with seven.

Next in the pecking order was Art Major (six), Gotta Go Cullect (six – including a trotter), Captaintreacherous (five) then followed by Always B Miki, Bettors Delight and Changeover with four apiece.

So, both Egmont Park and Burwood Stud sires featured prominently.

And with the addition of Somerset Farms and Cobbitty Equine in recent times, the representation will only be further bolstered.

In a further boost for the locals, the bulk of the money remained within the state with the only interstate raider proving successful being the Bathurst-prepared Jewel Melody, who scored the Group 1 3YO Fillies Final.

Conditioned by widely respected horseman Bernie Hewitt, the star filly notched her fifth Group 1 victory following her excellent display downing Queensland Oaks-winner Torque Like Motion and Cheer Leader in the 2138m event.

The winning time was 1:58.1.

“It’s been a frustrating year for all of us involved with her, but to win this race means a lot so it was great relief. We bought her here in Brisbane and she’s been exceptional. We’re all very proud with what she’s achieved,” Hewitt said.

Trent Dawson celebrates For Real Life's win with family.

Raced by Wayne and Julie Loader, the Captaintreacherous filly recorded back-to-back victories in the QBRED Triad after scoring last year as a two-year-old.

Purchased for $40,000 from the 2021 APG Brisbane Yearling Sale, the filly has now banked more than $482,000.

In the Colts and Geldings division, For Real Life and trainer/driver Trent Dawson also recorded back-to-back QBRED Triad victories following his brilliant display in the 2138m event, defeating Free Thinker and race favourite Apollo Dreamz.

The winning time was 1:54.7.

“That was his first start since being diagnosed with an entrapped epiglottis seven weeks earlier when he contested the Queensland Sun,” Dawson said

“I was nervous yet hopeful I had him ready to go. His trial the week prior indicated everything was back to normal, but he still had to do it under race conditions. Unbelievably proud and very satisfying.”

The For A Reason – Shes Elegant colt is also raced by Dawson after he purchased him from the 2021 Redcliffe Yearling Sale for $18,500.

With a record of eight wins from 17 starts, he’s earned more than $234,000.

The Group 1 2YO Fillies Final was taken out by race favourite Rylee Rhayne Bow, who led throughout from her inside draw in the 1660m event before holding out Sydney filly Ever Art and Majorita Jujon.

The winning time was 1:55.0.

Narissa McMullen took the winning driver for trainer and sister-in-law Chantal Turpin.

“Having barrier 1 proved to be the difference. It was a massive advantage, but we took our opportunity. It’s a very proud feeling. I raced her mother with Pete and Chantal, and I’ve been with them for many years,” owner/breeder Ross Patrick said.

Rylee Rhayne Bow is by Art Major from the Somebeachsomewhere mare Argyle Beach.

It was her second feature race trophy collected this year following her success in the Changeover Classic earlier in the year, defeating the colts and geldings.

Race favourite Rylee Rhayne Bow took out the Group 1 2YO Fillies Final.

In the Colts and Geldings division, Quik Change claimed the Breeders Classic/Triad double when running down Balboa Rock to score while Bronski Zulu picked up third place.

Starting favourite after drawing the inside gate, the Shane Graham-driven, and Graham Dwyer-prepared youngster has been enormous this season and thoroughly deserved his QBRED feature double.

“What an awesome feeling. Now that I know what it is like, I want another one,” Dwyer said about winning at the elite level for the first time.

Earlier in the week, Dwyer prepared his 700th winner as a trainer before landing his maiden Group 1 victory with Quik Change.

Bred by Daren and Chris Garrard, Quik Change is by Changeover from the classy Cammibest mare Mathilda Diventa.

Purchased by a loyal and enthusiastic group of clients from the Dwyer stable, he was snapped up for $20,000 at the 2022 APG Gold Coast Yearling Sale.

There was no surprise in the Four-year-old Entires and Geldings Final when Speak The Truth dominated his rivals defeating Future Assured and Gotta Go Milking in the 2138m event.

Starting at unbackable odds, Speak The Truth rated 1:54.5.

Prepared by Shannon Price and Scott Miller, the Bettors Delight – Private Bronski gelding was handled by Adam Sanderson.

In the Four-year-old Mares Final, the talented Mr Feelgood mare Racy Roxy overpowered her rivals Merge Right and race favourite Alwaysbme to claim the 2138m feature,

The winning time was 1:55.7.

Speak The Truth claimed the 4YO Entires and Geldings Final.

Racy Roxy is raced by her breeders, Kevin and Kay Seymour, while being under the care of Grant and Trista Dixon.

The Trotting features were keenly contested exciting races while providing their respective trainers with their biggest victories to date.

In the three-year-old event, husband and wife team of Adam and Alanah Richardson combined with their emerging talent Dextrous Dexter to defeat Miss Memphis and Gleneagle Reign in the 2138m stand start feature.

The winning time was 2:02.6.

Raced by breeder Kathryn McLachlan, the My High Expectations – Norah Jones gelding has now won five of his 16 starts to date.

The two-year-old feature boasted a field of six for the 2138m stand start event and maiden trotter Pinnie shot through via the sprint lane to beat race favourites and stablemates Northern Heights and Gait With Grace.

The winning time was 2:06.8.

It was just her third start and her maiden victory.

Prepared by Jason Carkeet and handled by Mathew Neilson, Pinnie is raced by her breeder Jeroen Nieuwenburg.

Pinnie is by exciting sire Volstead from the former feature race winning mare Needle.

Both trotting winners look to have bright futures.

The QBRED futurity scheme is the envy of most jurisdictions and the 2023 QStars race night was another powerful message of importance.

Racy Roxy takes out the 4YO Mares QBRED Triad Final.